The Anthurium Andraeanum is the most popular variety of anthurium and thus, it is what most people will refer to when they mention the anthurium flower.
It is also worth noting that the plant has many different common names including:
- Lace leaf (or laceleaf)
- Flamingo flower
- Tail Flower
- Painted Palette Plant
- Painted Tongue Plant
- Anthurium Red
That said, it is worth noting that there are many different varieties of Anthurium Andraeanum. These include:
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Black Beauty’
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Champion’
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Livium’
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Zizou’
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Purple Miss June’
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Oaxaca’
- Anthurium Andraeanum ‘Simba’
The plant itself is native to Colombia and Ecuador. It is found in the topical rainforests there and lives in the understory shaded by larger plants and trees.
Another thing worth noting is that the Anthurium Andraeanum was included in NASA’s list of plant that purify the air.
Of course, the Anthurium Andraeanum is best known for its bright, red colored “flowers” with yellow spikes. I added quotes to the word flower because these are not actually flowers.
Instead, they are inflorescence that consist of the spathe (the red part, sometimes pinkish) and spadix (the yellow part).
Anthurium Andraeanum Plant Care
The Anthurium Andraeanum needs bright, indirect light. Although is can tolerate moderate and low light as well. However, the kind of lighting condition you give it will determine how fast it grows and how well it blooms.
Therefore, you should consider this as part of your decision making process when choosing where to put the plant.
The Anthurium Andraeanum thrives in bright light as long as it is not direct sun or very harsh light. This will allow it not only to grow faster but also flower.
In contrast, the more you move towards medium lighting, the less likely it will bloom. But, the plant will stay healthy and grow quite well nevertheless.
So, you do need to decide whether this is something you want.
I don’t recommend low light as the plant’s growth can slow down here depending on how little the illumination is. And you’re probably not going to see it flower in this environment.
As such, the best locations for your Anthurium Andraeanum indoors is either and east, west or south facing window.
in an eastern exposure, allowing it access to direct morning sun helps a lot for flowering especially during spring to late summer which is when the plant’s growing season is.
Since the sunlight before 10:30 a.m. is much gentler than that of the afternoon, the does not have a problem tolerating this.
On the other hand, both the west and south facing windows get mid-day sun. Therefore, it is a good idea to protect the plant by filtering the light. Or at the very least keep it at least 3-4 away from the window.
The Anthurium Andraeanum needs at least 4 hours of natural light daily to stay healthy. You can likewise use or supplement with artificial lights if needed.
Outdoors, it will do best in bright shade or partial shade. Keep it away from full sun.
The Anthurium Andraeanum is a warm-weather plant. It enjoys this kind of climate all year round including winter. That’s because it comes from the tropical regions of South America where the sun is always up and there is no snow even between December and March.
Therefore, the Anthurium Andraeanum has an ideal temperature of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This means that it is very important o choose a spot that has moderate to warm.
Avoid cold spots or areas with breezes. Similarly keep it away from air conditioners or vents that blow air into any room in your home.
The plant does not do well in temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. So, it is important to be wary of this when choosing a location, especially once the cold weather comes around at the end of the year.
Outdoors, the plant is best suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 11 to 12. Again, this is because these regions have warm, sunny weather throughout the year. They also don’t experience frost or freezing conditions during winter.
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The Anthurium Andraeanum prefers high humidity. Ideally, it is most comfortable in places where humidity is 50% and higher.
Again, this comes from its native habitat, the rainforests of Colombia and Ecuador. As such, the plant is well-suited for tropical climates, greenhouses and controlled environments like grow cabinets.
However, it will need some help in many homes. And exception is if you live near a body of water, be it a lake, beach or ocean.
For this reason I keep a digital hygrometer near my plants. I find it very handy to be able to check the humidity level on a daily basis.
This way, if a certain species starts acting up, I can easily note down what humidity is has trouble with.
Note that the your home’s indoor humidity will be different from what’s in your city, at least in most cases. Therefore, relying on the weather report is not always the best way although it gives you a starting point (or a basic idea).
The reason lack of humidity can be a problem for your Anthurium Andraeanum is because its leaf tips and edges can become dry, crispy and turn brown if the air gets too dry.
As such, this is a sign that you need to increase humidity around it.
Often this means misting the plant 3 to 4 times a week. You can likewise use a humidifier.
How Often to Water Anthurium Andraeanum
How often you water your Anthurium Andraeanum will depend on the time of year, where you live and the climate conditions in your area.
As such, it is not a good idea to follow what other people are doing all the time. Instead, use that as a guideline and adjust according to your home’s conditions.
The only exception here is if the person giving you tips is your neighbor since their climate is pretty much similar. That said, you still don’t know what kind of soil they use, how much sun their plant gets and the kind of humidity it receives.
All these are factors which affect how often you water the plant.
Thus, the most important thing to know when watering your Anthurium Andraeanum is that it enjoys moist (but not wet or soggy) conditions. However, avoid overwatering the plant as adding too much moisture too frequently will ultimately lead to root rot.
So, the best way to balance this out is to allow the soil to dry a bit before adding more water. But don’t let the soil go completely dry as well.
Instead, wait until the top 2 inches of soil is dry before adding more water. Then water the plant thoroughly so that the root ball is completely drenched.
You’ll know when this is happening as the liquid will start dripping from the bottom of the holes of the pot. This is your sign to stop adding water.
The final step to each watering session is to let the excess moisture drain completely. This is essential to avoid overwatering.
If you follow this, you’ll end up watering your Anthurium Andraeanum about once a week (every 5 to 8 days) during the warmer months. If it gets how in the summer where you live, you may end up watering as often as once every 3 days.
The method also lets you automatically adjust your watering schedule once winter arrives. Since the soil takes longer to dry then your watering frequency also decreases.
Anthurium Andraeanum Potting Soil
The Anthurium Andraeanum is a member for the Araceae family. Therefore, the best soil for the plant is an Aroid mix. You can check your local nursery or garden center for this. Many of them will make their own.
Be aware that there is no fixed recipe for aroid mixes. Therefore, you’ll see different ingredients at varying amounts used.
The important this is that they all produce the same results and provide the same functions.
That is they are loose, well-draining and have good aeriation. This is the ideal soil for Anthurium Andraeanum.
That’s because it ensures any excess moisture is drainage out. And it holds on to just enough water to keep the plant hydrated. Also, its loose, chunky nature gives the roots a lot of oxygen to breathe.
If you prefer going with commercial mixes but can’t find an aroid mix, you can likewise opt for African Violet mix which should work well for the plant. if it does not drain as much as you’d like, add a few handfuls of perlite (and adjust the amount of perlite as needed).
In case you prefer making your own DIY potting mix, you can combine:
- 2 parts orchid mix
- 1 part peat
- 1 part perlite
Want something with fewer ingredients, go with:
- 1 art peat moss
- 1 part orchid bark
If you prefer something more sustainable than peat moss, use coconut coir instead.
A general houseplant fertilizer works well for your Anthurium Andraeanum. It is not a heavy feeder so be careful not to overfertilize it.
As long as you follow the instructions on the label and dilute the strength to 50% the plant will be very happy. Also, avoid fertilizing when the soil is dry, water it first.
If you’d like to encourage blooms, you can go with a high phosphorus plant flood. This will help with blooming.
Only apply fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. Don’t feed the plant in winter.
Flowers / Blooms
The Anthurium Andraeanum is best known for its blooms. And almost everyone is familiar with its red spathe and yellow spadix.
This come in the shape of a palette which is where it gets it nickname Painter’s Palette. Its looks and colors are also why some people call it the Flamingo Flower or Flamingo Lily.
The plant can grow to about 1.5 feet tall (18 inches).
Its lovely flowers are also accompanied by dark green heart-shaped leaves that can reach up to 8 inches long.
Best of all, its flowers last for a long time. And they’ll spear throughout they year as long as you give the plant the proper growing environment.
As mentioned above, lots of bright, indirect sunlight is important if you want to see it bloom.
The Anthurium Andraeanum generally grows to between a foot to 1.5 feet tall. And it will get as wide as 8 to 12 inches from side to side.
Of course, like all plants, the actual size of your plant will vary depending on the cultivar you get. Some will only reach 12 inches in height.
Then there’s how you pot is and the amount of sun, watering, temperature, humidity and other factors.
This means it is not a good idea to compare the growth rate of your plant with other people. Instead, focus on keeping it healthy and allowing it to grow ell.
Since the plant does not have a ton of leaves, nor does it get very big or long, there’s little pruning needed other than removing the dead or damaged leaves.
You do need to clean the plant’s leaves with a cloth as they attract quite a bit of dust. Use a damp cloth and wipe them down.
Similarly, the spadix does drop pollen. Therefore, if you don’t like having to clean up the mess you can prune it as well. Doing so also prolongs the spathe.
How to Propagate Anthurium Andraeanum
The most common ways to propagate the Anthurium Andraeanum is to divide the plant or use its offshoots or babies to grow new plants.
The latter is much easier as all you need to do is look for offshoots that grow from the mother plant. Then remove them and plant them on their own cotnainers.
Over time these Anthurium Andraeanum babies will grow into mature plants as well.
However, the downside to this method is that you’re at the mercy of the plant.
By that I mean you need to wait for the plant to produce offshoots. Otherwise, you’re out of luck. And there is no schedule here. It will produce the babies when it feels like it.
Another option is to propagate by division.
This makes sense when you have a bigger plant. That’s because you’ll separate the one plant into 2 or more smaller plants.
Then grow each plant separate.
- As you can guess, you’ll need to unpot the plant then choose the sections to split up.
- Make sure each section has enough roots, stem and leaves. This will allow each of them to sustain themselves when planted indvidiually.
- You can use your hands or a sharp sterile knife to separate the soil based on the sections.
- Then plant each section in well-draining potting mix in their own pots.
How to Repot or Transplant Anthurium Andraeanum
It is a good idea to repot your Anthurium Andraeanum every 2 years. However, the exact time will vary depending on how fast your plant grows.
Again, this is why it is not a good idea to compare with other people.
Instead, work with that your plant is telling you.
The ideal time to repot is during the spring when the plant is actively growing. Similarly, you don’t need to repot unless you start seeing roots come out from under the holes of the pot.
This is a sign that the plant has outgrown its container.
When that time comes, repot in a container that is 1-2 inches wider than the current one. Avoid going much bigger as the Anthurium Andraeanum enjoys being slightly snug in the pot.
Also, change the potting mix and check the roots to make sure there is no rotting or damage.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Anthurium Andraeanum is toxic when ingested. This means it is not pet-safe nor kid-safe. So, if you have cats, dogs or young children running around eh house, choose a spot where the plant is away from reach.
Ingesting parts of the plant can cause mouth, throat and digestive tract irritation, pain and other side effects including vomiting.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests are something you need to watch out for when caring for this houseplant. It attracts mites, mealybugs, scales, whiteflies and nematodes. As such, if you take them outside make sure to debug them before bringing them indoors.
The same is true when bringing a new Anthurium Andraeanum home from the store. I like to quarantine them for about 2 weeks or so to see if they have any pests or diseases before putting any new plant with the rest of my collection.
When spot any bug, make sure to act quickly.
I often start by spraying water to get rid of any visible bugs. The more thorough you are the better chance you have of eradicating them.
You can also use neem oil or insecticidal soap. Make sure to dilute neem oil enough if you’re using the concentrated form.
Root rot, leaf spot and blight are among the more common problems that face the Anthurium Andraeanum. These are all caused by excess moisture so you want to be wary of watering too frequently and leaving the soil or leaves wet.
Outside of too much moisture, the plant is not relatively known for getting diseases.